Agent Provocateur: in black

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The Independent Online

Agent Provocateur, the lingerie retailer that days ago sold a £60m majority stake to the quoted private equity house 3i, has jumped back into the black.

It reported profits of £1m, up from a loss of £207,831 the previous year, in the latest accounts filed at Companies House. Sales were up from £8.8m in 2006 to £12.9m for the year ending March 2007.

Founder Joseph Corre, who is the son of Malcolm McLaren, manager of the Sex Pistols, and fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, said: "The year was... [one] of investment and building for the future."

Its ladies' pants, bras, corsets, gloves, masks and pasties are sold in 13 locations in Britain, as well as in the US, Dubai and Hong Kong. 3i plans to roll it out into 32 new locations.

The first store was set up in 1994 by Mr Corre and his wife Serena Rees to add a bit of spice to women's underwear.

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